"Terrors and torments, diseases and deaths" -- Cover.Includes index.Summary: 'Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in-for-me,' Julius Caesar cried as he fell under the thrusts of twenty daggers. Oh, all right, Caesar didn't cry that, Kenneth Williams did in the movie Carry on Cleo. But nor did he sigh 'Et tu, brute?' as Shakespeare would have us believe. The history we think we know is full of misconceptions, mischiefs, misunderstandings ...and monks who misused their spell-checkers. What the general reader needs is a history that explores our ancestors with humour and compassion. 'Humour' and 'history' are not two words you often see in the same sentence: our past was a dangerous and dirty place full of cruel rulers, foul food and terrible toilets. A short life, not a merry one, for most. Dangerous days in which to live and, inevitably, die. Die dreadfully too. 'Murder breathed her bloody steam.' That's what rhymester Byron said when he looked at the crumbling Coliseum. The Roman Emperors: they came, they saw, they left behind their bloody steam. This is their story - it could be the funniest history you'll ever read.